Implementing Competencies in D2L

Article image

Implementing Competencies in D2L

MH Contact profile image
Author :
Mark Hodgins

Tips when using Competencies

What are competencies?

Competencies help track information about the knowledge, skills and abilities learners acquire as they participate in courses or other learning experiences. Competencies are an inventory of skills and knowledge, rather than measures of how good learners are at something.


Why use competencies.

Use the Competencies tool to create competency structures to help you assess users' learning outcomes and determine if they have acquired the intended knowledge, skills, and abilities from a learning experience. The transparency and accountability of competency structures have an advantage over traditional grading mechanisms, because they do not mask gaps in learning with general, overall grade averages. 



A competency structure is a hierarchy composed of three basic elements: 

  • Competencies 
  • Learning objectives 
  • Activities

You can create multiple activities, learning objectives, and competencies within a competency structure.

Create learning objective statements that are directly measurable through related activities.


Activities are the only elements that can be graded in a competency structure. You can use existing tools in the Learning Environment to create activities.


Who might use competencies in their D2L course?

Any instructor who has a need to match a student’s learning outcomes with a prescribed set of institutional competency requirements or standards.


Where can you place competencies within D2L?

If you create a competency structure as part of a course offering, it is accessible only within that course offering. For example, you can create a competency to represent the entire course, learning objectives to represent specific units, and associate activities to each unit. 

You can create competency structures inside org units such as departments, semesters, and the organization to track users’ achievements beyond a course offering. You can also share these competency structures with multiple course offerings and evaluate the competencies and learning objectives within specific child org units. This enables users to complete the competency in stages over time, working on different learning objectives within different courses.


Acknowledgments and Additional Resources

  • Curriculum Mapping Solution, Michael Moore, MSCIS, Dawn MacDonald, M. Math Michigan State University | D2L
  • Competency-Base Learning, education reimagined
  • A Curriculum Review and Mapping Process, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.
  • The Instructor’s Guide to Course Development & Facilitation, Minnesota State University Moorhead.



Posted by:
Makena Neal Teaching Toolkit Tailgate